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Who Shot Gabrielle Giffords?

I was in the middle of writing a column on the Republican grandstanding surrounding the idea of repealing the healthcare bill or as they call it, ObamaCare. That’s when the news flash arrived saying Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had been shot. My heart dropped much like it did on that fateful day in 1963. I was saddened, disgusted and shamed to be a member of a society that breeds the kind people that can perform such heinous acts.

Giffords was a supporter of universal healthcare. She cared for her constituents, rich and poor. She answered to her conscience and used her strong intellect to make the decisions she felt were best for America. As I write this, the identity of the killer hasn’t been released. His motives remain a mystery.

As I do my best to resist anger and frustration, I ask “Who shot Gabrielle Giffords?”

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But It’s a Dry Heat

I’ve had a home in Arizona for thirty years. My wife is a fifth generation Arizonan. It’s a surrealistic part of paradise with vast expanses of multi-colored deserts delineated with breathtakingly beautiful mountain ranges. The forests of the high country inspire artists to paint its splendor. Its big cities are vibrant. Its history is rich, its people interesting and diverse.

Despite my decades long affair with Arizona, one question goes unanswered. Why does Arizona draw so many nutcases and loon birds? Furthermore, why does Arizona have such a propensity for taking its moon-bats and electing them to high political office? This is the state that has given us denizens of renown like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the bigot with a badge and Russell Pearce, a legislator who looks in a mirror and sees no reflection. They’ve still got a long way to go to beat their greatest misguided mouth missile, Evan Meacham, but they’re giving it their best shots.

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A Gun in the Hand

The NRA should be much more vocal about its agenda than it has been in the past. We need to hear more from them. They should clearly state their case and stand up for their programs. There is no need to be shy. “We provide an assault rifle in every home. And a handgun in every car, to boot.” Fight the good fight.

What other organization do we have to defend the Second Amendment to the Constitution? This Amendment is part of our Bill of Rights and should be vigorously defended. It very clearly states that “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Surely during the constitutional constructs the writers of the documents that are the foundation of this country anticipated assault weapons and hand-held rocket launchers. They knew the country would change and evolve. They knew that sophisticated rifles would be used to regulate lucrative pharmaceutical deals in dark alleys, facilitate arguments and burglaries in the intercity, and settle disputes along the borders of our 13 states just as they knew the country would one day use satellites and computers to track its citizens. If our forefathers had the foresight to foresee the advent of semi-automatic and automatic rifles and small handguns and build the right to keep and bear them into the very fabric of our Constitution, who is Congress or Eric Holder to stand in the way of that fundamental right?

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